Thanksgiving Foods Your Dog Should Avoid (and What to Give Them Instead)

If you’re like most American families, you share your home with at least one dog. But Fido isn’t just ‘the dog’ in your house, is he? He’s very much a part of the family. You love him and want to spoil him just as much as you do your human kin. (Sometimes more, right?)

While your heart is in the right place, it’s important to remember that Fido’s nutritional needs are different from yours. Resisting his puppy dog eyes can be tough though, especially when everyone is tucking into Thanksgiving dinner.

Those tantalizing smells will drive the poor guy crazy, and before long you’ll give in and slip him a little something from your plate. This is not a good idea.

For starters, you won’t be the only one who is ‘secretly’ feeding Fido under the table, so he’ll be overeating for sure. Dogs are like humans when it comes to food, they don’t have an off button.

Human Food Dogs Can and Can’t Eat

human food dogs can eat

The list of human foods dogs can and can’t eat is lengthy. Our canine counterparts have different digestive systems, which means a lot of what we eat won’t agree with them. In some cases, can be downright dangerous.

Some may come as a surprise, such as grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts. While others are common sense. You definitely should not give your pooch alcohol, coffee or chocolate. Onions and garlic are also a big no-no.

A lot of people also warn against dogs eating avocados. but Dr. Justine Lee—a board-certified emergency critical care veterinary specialist—disagrees. “Despite the rumors, avocado is not poisonous to dogs, nor likely to cats,” says Lee.

But there is just as much overlap in the foods we can both eat. It’s perfectly fine to feed Fido peanut butter (woof!), cooked eggs, pumpkin, blueberries and salmon, for example. Just like humans, dairy and salt are fine in moderation.

What Not To Give Your Dog on Thanksgiving

food dogs should avoiid

The problem with the classic Thanksgiving menu is not so much with the food itself but the way we prepare it. We’ll caramelize the carrots in brown sugar, turn the potato mash into a festival of butter, cook Brussel sprouts with fatty bacon and even roast yams with marshmallows.

Obviously, a small amount of something rich or fatty won’t have you rushing to the vet, but there are long-term consequences from feeding your dog things he really shouldn’t be eating. It’s not worth Fido’s health (or the vet’s bill), so rather avoid spoiling him with your super rich human food altogether.

Cook Your Dog Their Own Thanksgiving Dinner

dog waiting for dinner

So, what can you give Fido on Thanksgiving? There’s no reason he can’t also enjoy a delicious meal with the family, you just need to make him his own canine-friendly version.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be completely devoid of holiday tastiness. It turns out dogs can eat cranberries, so you’ll be able to make Fido a small portion of cranberry sauce to pour over his turkey.

Thanksgiving is a notoriously busy holiday, so how on earth are you going to find the time to make your furry best friend his own special meal? It’s actually not as tricky as you might think, and besides, he’s worth the effort, don’t you think?.

Whatever food you’re making for the humans, simply set aside a small amount of each for Fido before you add the sugar, salt, spices or whatever.

You can cook and mash the potatoes and then scoop some out before adding the butter. He can have rice with dog gravy, sweetcorn with a tiny dab of butter, and so on.

Dogs can’t eat turkey stuffing, since it’s made with garlic and onions, but they can definitely tuck into some of the white breast meat.

Don’t go wild, obviously. If he overeats, he’ll still get sick, just like you. But by all means, dish up a really nice doggie-friendly Thanksgiving dinner that he can eat with the family. This will make him feel included, and it’ll stop him from begging.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

60 comments

Val P
Val P2 months ago

interesting

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Chad Anderson
Chad A2 months ago

Thank you.

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Joemar K
Joemar K2 months ago

Thanks

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Great info Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Interesting Thank you for caring and sharing

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Frances G
Frances G3 months ago

Thank you

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Danuta W
Danuta Watola3 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Angela K
Angela K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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